A Visionary Experience

By Donna Ahern
A Visionary Experience

Bricks and mortar retailers are suffering because they do not have access to the same levels of reliable shopper data as e-commerce websites. That is according to Oran Mulvey (left) and Shane O'Sullivan (right), founders of VisionR, whose ‘phygital’ SaaS solution is measuring what is happening in-store with the same precision as the online analytics that drive the virtual world. 

Retailers are used to getting rich data from their e-commerce websites, but when it comes to their physical stores, there is little information available on shopper behaviour,” says Mulvey.

“VisionR brings an analogue store into the digital world. It is similar to adding Google Analytics to your e-commerce website. After just a simple plug-in, you get rich information on who your shoppers are, how they are behaving while in-store, what products are getting their attention, and what parts of your store are over- and under-performing.”

VisionR uses video analytics, mobile device analyses, and POS to capture shopper data and delivers that data to retailers via the VisionR web portal and weekly/monthly automated reporting. “VisionR offers more data points on the in-store shopper than any competitor, all in real-time,” says O’Sullivan.

“We add eight to 10 new customer-centric business metrics to a retailer’s network, allowing them to affect and measure customer traffic, engagement, profile and sales. VisionR is also adding value to retailers’ existing data collection processes as it allows for the integration of pre-existing shopper data to its platform. From marketing (are the people you are targeting online walking into your store or not?), to operations (a complete overview of store performance), to store layouts, fit-outs and the trading teams, we pre-process the data to derive key insights and results from actions that have a direct link to a retailer’s bottom line.”

So how does it work in-store? “VisionR’s IoT sensor, the Scout, is a completely plug-and-play add on for any retail store, which is placed at the front entrance or in key aisles/areas,” says O’Sullivan.

“Using video analytics, it breaks down shoppers into footfall, shopper profile (age/gender), shopping groups, product engagement vs ‘pass by’, shop duration, loyalty, and dwell time. VisionR then ties this in with the point of sale to link products to profiles. The Scout only needs power to run. We don't need to integrate with the retailer’s IT systems. We connect to the EPOS system through the till provider.”

O’Sullivan is keen to point out that VisionR’s models “run on the edge”, storing no photos or videos, and therefore allow retailers to survey 100% of their shoppers in a privacy-conscious manner.

Why VisionR?

Marketing: Whether a retailer’s spend is online or in-store, VisionR can measure the impact of marketing activity on shopper traffic, profile, loyalty, conversion rates, and spend. Measuring the impact of these campaigns on shopper behaviour and spend allows for the maximisation of marketing spend

Products and Promotions: VisionR can analyse how shoppers engage with new/existing products at the shelf ends, rather than just sales, giving retailers an insight as to what gets shoppers to the point of purchase.

Online: VisionR gives retailers a uniform way of viewing their omnichannel estate. They can compare offline sales with online sales in an instant to optimise both, giving retailers a robust platform for measuring key business decisions.

Store Operations: VisionR can provide real- time and predicted staffing requirements based on store footfall, new customers, and key profiles.

Space Planning: Rather than waiting for six months to see how layout changes have affected long term sales, retailers can make incremental changes to their key stores and measure the effect of those changes on the behaviour of shoppers entering.

Trading: VisionR sensors allow retailers to link product sales to shopper profiles via an advanced tool that searches products to see where/when they were purchased, by whom, and with what complementary items.

Digital Displays: VisionR can analyse who is engaging with retailers’ digital displays and identify the content that is most eye catching. By linking in with the tills, they can correlate screen engagement to sales.

Positive Results For SPAR

Leading brands such as Dulux, Maxi Zoo, SPAR International and BWG Foods are using the VisionR technology.

“We are proud to work with SPAR wholesalers and retailers as a supplier for bricks and mortar customer analytics,” says Mulvey.

“Through our partnership with SPAR International, VisionR is aiming to empower SPAR organisations across 48 countries with revenue-generating data. One of our first major customers in Ireland was BWG Foods, owners and operators of the SPAR, EUROSPAR, MACE, Londis and XL retail brands.

“BWG is a forward-thinking, data-focused organisation that is interested in learning more about its customers and enhancing the shopper experience. BWG's aim was to leverage data straight from the shop floor to drive customer experience and sales. Based on our VisionR data and insights, we have been able to suggest actions for the promotional shelf ends, store layouts, and product availability in selected BWG/Spar stores that have yielded very positive results.”

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